Bears Wire podcast: Discussing the plan for Justin Fields in Year 1

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Justin Fields has become the talk of the town in Chicago, and he hasn’t even taken a practice snap yet with the Bears.

That’s just the power of Fields Fever, which has taken the Bears fan base by storm. Chicago got an absolute steal in Fields after trading up to select him with the 11th overall pick. Fields represents something that has been absent for awhile: Hope, specifically for a brighter future for this maligned franchise.

One of the biggest questions this offseason for the Bears involves the development of Fields. Specifically, when will he actually get a chance to start?

Chicago seems content with letting Fields sit behind veteran Andy Dalton, who GM Ryan Pace said will be the team’s starting quarterback to start the season. The plan is not to rush him and to let him learn behind Dalton. While that model worked for Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City behind Alex Smith, the Bears’ situation is completely different.

While Mahomes didn’t see the field as a starter during his rookie season until Week 17, there was a good reason for it. And that had everything to do with Smith’s impressive performance during a playoff run for the Chiefs.

We’ll never know if Mahomes was ready to go his rookie season (most likely) or if Kansas City would’ve inserted him into the line-up, but the Bears don’t need to try to force Fields’ development to fit that of Mahomes’.

If Fields earns the starting job in training camp — and proves that he’s ready — he should be given the job. But if isn’t ready, that’s alright, too. Let him develop at his own rate while Dalton takes the brunt of some of these defenses.

With the Bears headed into a bit of a down month ahead of training camp, host Ryan O’Leary (@RyanOLearySMG) and myself (@AlyssaBarbieri) wrapped up this portion of the offseason, where he discussed our thoughts on how Chicago should handle Fields’ development and some of the top positional battles to watch this offseason.

You can listen to the latest episode below:

We’ll be back later this offseason with all-new episodes. You can catch all episodes on Apple Podcasts or your podcast service of choice.

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